Anticipatory grief

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Re: Anticipatory grief

It is so good to read all these comments. I know you will all understand the tears in my eyes when I got to the end. My friend is organising his paperwork so it will be easy for the family to carry out his wishes etc and he wants to make a simple will. I try to remain optimistic about his having quality of life for a while longer. I know if I were the one coughing blood, getting breathless from tumours in my lungs, facing chemo without much help from it.....I would want to get my affairs in order too. And I'd really want someone to believe in me and encourage me too, at least up to a point, but sometime denial has to be replaced with acceptance. I'm signing off to call Carers Australia as per Louisa's blog. It's good to have a few options for myself and this "safe place" is invaluable. Good wishes to all.
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Re: Anticipatory grief

Hi all. Im new here and still trying to navigate my way around the site. I had posted already if anyone else here had advice on coping with the overwhelming grief of losing a loved on due to cancer. Eve when we knew one day it would happen...when it did it was still unexpected and knocked the wind out of our sails. Thanks
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Re: Anticipatory grief

I thought I would write a quick update, funnily enough I find this very therapeutic. Back in January the spots came back okay but later on in March - Pow! Another spot. This time the spot on my fiance's liver proved to be a problem. He has just been through 4 weeks of radiation and chemo (with one more week to go). Okay, so with the first diagnosis (Stage 3 bowel cancer) I was so very sad, now I feel that our future together is slowly disappearing. I don't know if I mentioned before that he is in Melbourne and I'm in Sydney, which makes it very difficult to connect with his turmoil. Every so often, I have a little meltdown, sometimes with him, sometimes alone. He does try to push me away and gives me a choice to stay with him or walk away. I feel guilty to say that I have considered walking away, I feel that it could be better for both of us. He doesn't need negativity, sometimes I can't help be negative and depressed. We have been together for over 6 years. Endured our long-distance romance for almost 4 years. (In case you're wondering, he won't make the move here or me there until he is better). Thanks for listening. 🙂
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Re: Anticipatory grief

Wow. I am normail! WE are normal. Reading everyone else's posts has been like a weight lifting from my chest. There are so many similarities, and although I wish no one had to go through any of this, I take comfort in what you have all written. It took me so long to join something like this and now I am glad I made the move. Unfortunately I have trouble talking to my friends about any of these more complicated and controversial feelings as none have been through it and dont have the coping skills to help. I have often heard 'well you dont have cancer so think yourself lucky', or 'what do you expect from him, he has cancer' or other such insensitive comments. If I make a normal comment about my husbands moods (which he had before cancer as well as now) I get the dark looks, as if you dont have little tiffs like before over the high phone bill or the kids arriving home 5 minutes late! While coping with cancer and all that goes with it, you still have all the usual everyday business at the same time. In saying that, cancer can be all consuming as well, cant it?!?! So much to deal with as well as all the everyday caring for kids, cooking etc etc. Sometimes I feel like screaming 'Its not just his cancer you know! Its not in my body but its all through my life. I go to chemo sessions, I go to oncologist appointments, specialist appointments, blood tests, GP visits to get meds so he doesnt catch anything in the waiting room, I do all the shopping and running the kids around in case someone has a cold, I even go to Bunnings list in hand and collect things I have never heard of so he can finish something in the shed!!' But I am scared if I get told 'atleast you dont have cancer' one more time I might do a Linda Blair and rotate my head 180 degrees whilst spewing green vomit!!! haha It is also hard to watch my kids little hearts break when he is screaming at them to keep away if they have a runny nose. You just dont understand that when your seven and used to be the apple of Daddy's eye. So many things to deal with at once. If I leave the house for more than half an hour, I get a txt each from my two teenagers, a phone call from my seven year old and one or the other from hubby asking for something he cant get for himself as he cant drive. Once when my girlfriends took me out for a drink, one of hubby's friends and also his mother asked me what kind of wife I was to leave him and go have fun while he couldn't. I sound like such a whinger and that is somethng I despise. I am such a positive person by nature that it is horrible to feel so whiny!! My hubby is very very positive when talking to others, even blaise at times, but we see the fear and anger for long periods of time. It is such a helpless feeling to not be able to fix things so all is the way he wants it. It is also hard feeling like all the laughter has been sent out of our house, it was so filled with it before. Laughter and music... seems the cancer got into those too. Does anyone else have partners that wont leave the house now for fear of getting sick? The nurse at the clinic seems to think it is a little extreme, but I know it is a fear of hospitals that is causing it. i just think he would not be as moody and angry if he got out of the house more. Hope I made sense, I feel like I was jumping all around the place. Big indication of how my emotions are right now I guess. Hope my ramblings help someone else!!! :-)
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Re: Anticipatory grief

Hey larn75....wow...and wow....you have hit the nail on the nead and trust me...you are not alone in your feelings. You are completely normal. Its hard to make sense of something that doesnt make sense isnt it so youre doing well to even be getting out of bed each day. Your comment just tugged at me so deeply, I know what youre going through and I agree completely with the insensitive comments and the lack of understanding from people. Yes you may not have the cancer ritself but you may as well have! It seeps into every pore of your life doesnt it? and no one and I mean no one couldpossibly understand you unless they have been there themselves. My Mum has just lost her battle after 8 years of breast cancer. am aching so badly that its hard to breath. All throughout it she kept the best attitude, never said why me, was as social as ever, she used to go shopping or to the club directly after a chemo session. It wasnt until the last 12 months that she started to change and I suppose we should have seen it was the end coming but denial and hindsight..its easy to see now. My dad has been the worst since losing Mom as far as his anger and aggression and complete inability to talk to us normally. I was so worried about him and his grief and he has currently "wiped" me claimng he wants space. So Ive not only lost my MUm but now my Dad is distancing himself and I dont have the strength to argue or try and fix things. As far as your partner being so angry and anti-social...this is not good for him or for the family, however you are talking to a brick wall trying to get him to do what he doesnt want to. Its like an alcoholic, they have to admit they have a problem before they can receive help. Right now your husband is feeling very much the victim and the "why me" syndrome. Everyone is different how they handle their illness but he really needs to change that attitude to a more positive one if he is going to get through it because anxiety and anger is going to make him sicker then any runny nose of a seven year old is going to do. As for you, you need to take care of yourself first before you can take care of him. Not the other way around. Because if you fall down as well where does that leave the family?..the kids? I would say to your husbands mother and mate with their cruel comments that what type of mother and friend are they that they cant come and sit with him or help in some way to give you and the kids a break? People who arent dealing with what you are find it so easy to give criticism whilst doing nothing themselves to help. Funny that! You are not a whinger, sometimes I wonder if its just as hard if not harder for the family of a cancer patient for the simple fact that they also have the fear of losing their loved one, how the provider of the household is now no longer able to and it all falls onto you whilst still having to maintain as normal a household as possible, particularly for the children and then everyone still expecting you to be "normal" and "happy". What dont they understand for goodness sake!! The wanting to scream..oh I know it...and Im still doing it now..although for different reasons then you...but still the feeling of being lost and alone in all of it is so consuming and exhausting. I bet youre finding now who youre true friends are and who you want and need in your life? Ok..so what can you do?..well Im no expert by any means, the only thing Id like to suggest is a couple of things that do work for me but it is a long process just the same....firstly...talk to yur husbands doctor/oncologist about the not wanting to go out and the anti-social behaviour/paranoia about catching infections. Then the doctor can talk to him about it what his real limitations are. I never once heard my mums doctor say "now dont you catch a cold or youre gone" "dont get a cold coz the cancer will spread" Its ridiculous. Yes you do need to stay healthy and youre immune system is low and more susceptible to bugs but people continue to smoke, drink, eat fatty foods, go to work, go to parties etc during cancer and they're ok. I truly believe there is not a whole lot you can do to make it worse or better. So maybe if he hears it from a professional he might take notice. I dont think the Doctor would have told him to lock yourself up for the whole treatment. People dont get through cancer that way. My Mum lasted 8 years longer then she expected and I am certain its because she took on the attitude that she was " 'living' with cancer". Also, the cancer clinics offer all types of support services to patients and their families, ranging from domestic help to counselling. It might be worth a look at? Next I would say what aout writing all your thoughts and feelings into a letter to your hubby? This way its not a conversation that can be interrupted or dependant on his mood. You can write it all down how you love him so much and it breaks your heart that hes going through this but does he understand that you all are going through it too and the best way to get through it is to stick together and support each other. That if the worst case scenario happened and he lost to the disease wouldnt he want the family to have happy memories of their lives together. My Mum left us so many happy memories even during her treatment.Its getting us through losing her now. So if you see what I mean, write it all down and let him read it and see what happens. Hopefully it will make him see that for him to beat this disease he needs to take charge of his emotions. He is letting the disease rule him at the moment and its giving it power! Having said that, chemo does weird things to the patient and some of his moods are beyond his control, although as you said he was a moody person beforehand anyway. He is able to take anti-depressants during his treatment but they dont offer them to you unless you ask. This wont have any negative effect on hs treatment. In fact it can have the opposite, because he would feel better he would heal better too. Power of the mind is an amazing thing. Also, with your kids have a regular meeting with them where you all sit and discuss whats on their minds, a place to vent, to cry, to laugh, to understand each other. Do not be afraid to ask for help, when people ask is there anything I can do for you, say Yes! And more importantly take care of you! Dont feel guilty that you have some time out. One hour a day or one day a week. You need to. You cant afford to get sick, have a breakdown etc. For people that dont support you or understand you cut them off until you can handle them better. You dont need it. Your husband, its anyones guess whats going through his mind and why he is being the way he is, of course he deserves all the sympathy and support in the world. What a terrifying place to be in. But he has the easy part as far as he gets the sympathy easily no matter what. His cance ris his get out of jail free card so to speak. But as I said earlier you might as well have the cancer yourself because its "in your life".."it is your life" and that can be worse in the sense that a cancer patient csn lay down when they are tired or sick. You dont get that rest because youre well and "you dont have cancer". Oh I hope I have made some sense here. As I said, Im no expert, just someone who has gone through what youre going through and trying to relay some of what it was like and understanding exactly what youre saying about how youre feeling. I hope something from what I have said helps you o at least gives you some ideas on what to try or gain comfort in knowing that youre not alone in what youre feeling and that you are completely normal. Much Love to you. 🙂
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Re: Anticipatory grief

It is all over now and the anticipatory grief has turned into real grief. My wife and soulmate has finally succumbed. She was an unbelievable woman at no stage did she get angry or say why me. She never asked for a timeline as she saw that as some sort of finality to her not knowing meant that it was never going to happen. In the end it really did happen very quickly. I was the one that got angry with the world and said why us. Our plans are all gone. Although we were lucky at least she was able to see our first grandchild who was only born five days ago. So much joy and so much sadness in ony a couple of days.
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Re: Anticipatory grief

Dear Uncle Horses, Sorry to hear of your wifes passing. She sounds like an incredible person. What wonderful news that she got to see her first grandchild, it must have been such a joy for her. My heart goes out to you and your family. Larn75
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